Visible Steps is an Indigenous led alliance of design stakeholders. The Deakin University initiative including its Institute for Koorie Education is supported by both Indigenous Architecture & Design Victoria (IADV) and the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).  

Visible Steps acts as a meeting place to research, share knowledge and discuss methods relating to the ethical and appropriate representation of Indigenous culture in communication design practice. It explores issues of hybridity, post colonialism and relationally with a primary aim to explore contemporary expressions of  traditional culture within a respectful, cross cultural frame. 

Through Indigenous led research, design advocacy and industry consultation the objective of Visible Steps is to strengthen identity and by doing so build self-esteem and a sense of place through cultural visibility. Indigenous representation is an issue for all Australians. It is becoming an increasingly important consideration for design practitioners as Australia steps closer to formally recognising  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in its constitution.

Visible Steps attempts to paint a picture of what might be, a vibrant and unique country with a history of continuous culture  longer than any other. The paradigm shift is already having an impact as designers are increasingly called on to visually represent Australia as home of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. 

"If we change the way we look at things, then the things we look at will need to change". 



Planning Committee:



Indigenous Advisory

  • Professor Liz Cameron (Dharug)
  • Professor Brian Martin (Muruwari, Bundjalung, Kamilaroi)
  • Jenny Murray-Jones (Yorta Yorta)
  • Jefa Greenaway (Wailwan, Gamillaraay)
  • Shay-lish McMahon (Eora)
  • Corrina O’Toole (Wadawurrung)
  • Jessica Byrne (Gamillaraay)